Aussie business accuses Jay-Z of copying Ice-T amid legal stoush

An Australian children’s products retailer being sued by music giant Jay-Z over intellectual property infringements has doubled down in its defence against the claims, accusing the famed rapper and billionaire of copying the work of rival rapper Ice-T in his hit single 99 Problems.

Last month Shawn Carter, who performs under the professional name Jay-Z, launched action in the Federal Court of Australia claiming online retailer The Little Homie had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and infringed on his copyright. He claimed they did this by using his image and lyrics in its products, including a book that teaches children the alphabet by referencing well-known music artists, including the rapper.

Shawn Carter, whose stage name is Jay-Z, accepts the award for Best Rap Song for “Holy Grail”.Credit:Reuters

The book features Jay-Z as the letter “Z”, and includes a play on the hook from his song 99 Problems: ‘If you’re having alphabet problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but my ABCs ain’t one’.

The original Jay-Z lyrics in the song about being stopped and searched by police with police dogs are: “So if you havin’ girl problems, I feel bad for you son/Got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one”.


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